Monthly Archives: June 2013

a day in my life

Inspired by Sarah, I decided to document a day in my life.

7:00 am: L wakes up, and so do I.  It’s Friday, so L is my alarm clock.  B has already been up working for an hour.  I open the curtains and give L a couple books to entertain herself while I brush my teeth.  Then I nurse her for half an hour or so.

7:40 am: I take L into her room to get her dressed for the day.  She requests pigtails, and I comply.

8:00 am: We head to the kitchen for breakfast.  B joins us.

8:30 am: We head back to the bedroom and I get a shower and get dressed.  L entertains herself looking at her books.

9 am: We hang out in the living room and play for a while.

10 am:  We head to the library.  It’s ridiculously hot today, and I want to go somewhere with air conditioning.  I return about 10 books, and check out 10 more, half for L and half for me.  I enjoy browsing the children’s books, modern paperbacks, and the knitting / craft books.  I settle on some paperbacks for me, some nice picture books for L, and books on making stuffed animals from recycled old clothes for me.

11:15: We head home.  L naps a bit in the car, and I let her sleep there another 15 or 20 minutes while I chill out and read a bit on the couch.

12 pm:  Back home, and it’s time for lunch!  Soft-boiled egg, orange and avocado with a bit of ham on the side.  Yum.

1 pm:  Bath time.

2 pm: Entertain L around the house.  Try to work up the ambition to go out in the blazing heat.  House is getting hotter, so decide I’d be better off in the air conditioned car at least.

2:45 pm: Head to spray park in downtown K.ent.

4:45 pm: Drive home.  L falls asleep in the car.  Take her inside and let her nap on the bed until 5:15.  Regret this later big time.  (Our normal rule is no napping after 4 pm.)

5:45 pm: B gets off work.  I order our usual Friday night Papa John’s $6 special (large one-topping) pizza.  B takes L to go pick it up.  I sit on the couch, knit and watch Brothers and Sisters.

6:05 pm:  Dinner

6:45 pm:  Finish dinner.  Go relax in bedroom while B takes L.  House is now a stifling 85 or so degrees.

7:15 pm:  Take over for B until L’s bedtime at 8 pm.  Do some weeding and watering of my hydrangeas and hostas in the backyard while L crawls alternately reads and crawls around the backyard.

8:15 pm: Start the bedtime routine.  Thanks to her late nap or perhaps the steamy conditions indoors, L is impossible to get to sleep.  Feel like I’m in the 5th circle of hell in the the broiling conditions of the bedroom, since holding L seems to increase the temperature another 10 degrees.  Finally get L to sleep at around 9:35 pm.  (Normally, she’s down by 8:45 or 9 pm.)

9:35 pm  Settle down to a much-deserved glass of wine, sparkling water, and my knitting.  Relax, knit, watch Battlestar Galactica and talk to B.

11:15 pm: Retire to the bedroom


house shopping in belle view

I just found out my great Aunt Eileen passed away at 89.  She was my grandfather’s sister.  My grandfather was one of nine.  He had one brother and seven sisters.  Imagine having seven sisters!  My grandfather passed a long time ago, in December 1999, and now there are only four of the nine left.  We used to visit all the sisters (and the brother) when we’d go to Albany in the summers.  It’s funny to me that my Mom had so many aunts and uncles.  I have only six aunts and uncles, and my Mom and Dad were both one of four.  And L has only four aunts and uncles, one of whom my husband sees very infrequently.

My allergies have been driving me batty this year.  I wake up in the morning sometimes with eyes streaming and sneezing like a crazy person.  You’re not supposed to take most antihistamines while nursing, but I sometimes take Alavert, which is meant to be acceptable.  It helps.  We have had an abnormal amount of sun this year, which has been great, but I guess it has made all manner of things grow that don’t normally grow so enthusiastically.  B and I are completely overwhelmed by weeds.

We went and looked at some houses yesterday.  We have narrowed down our housing search to the Belle.vue area, since it has excellent schools, is more affordable than mer.cer Island, and is centrally located.  We looked at four houses yesterday.  One had too much road noise.  A second had no backyard and smelled overwhelmingly of cat in certain areas.  The other two were of interest.  Both were built in the 60s and had 2700 to 3000 square feet.  The first was a tri-level and seemed fairly well laid out.  It was in excellent condition.  it had a fairly small yard but backed on undeveloped land.  The land is owned by a condo complex with existing condos, so it’s possible that the undeveloped part might change, which to me is a huge negative.  The second house was in OK condition.  It had two major issues.  First, the kitchen was very small.  In order to expand it, I think you’d have to knock down a wall, which I assume would be very expensive.  Second, it was a bit oddly laid out.  It had only two bedrooms on the main floor and the rest of the bedrooms and rooms were on the lower floor, which is a bit odd to me.  Still, it had plenty of space and good light, and it had a spectacular 1/3 acre private backyard.

House 1:

House 2:

It’s worth noting that, not surprisingly, neither house looks as good in real life as in the real estate photos.  The second house in particular looks like it’s in fantastic shape from the photos, but really, parts of it definitely need work, and the kitchen is VERY small and very retro in real life.

L is walking more and more every day.  She continues to love going for walks with us.  When she wants to go for a walk, she pats her head so we get her hat for her.  She she moves her hands up and down in the sign for walking.  It is amusing, unless of course it’s pouring rain outside.  Sometimes we do go out in the rain, but not that often.  L has three molars coming in at the moment, and she is a drooling machine.  I was kind of dreading the molars, and they really haven’t been that bad, but I’ll be glad when they’re done.  After molars, she still has for more teeth.  Then we get a break until the two year molars.



monkey bars

I love Fridays.  I love Thursday nights as well.  Having a three-day weekend rocks my world, even if taking care of L is not completely a day off.

We are having wonderful weather lately.  The lack of rain is bad for all my shade-loving plants, but otherwise, it is fabulous.  It’s not too hot, so our lack of A/C isn’t a problem.  L and I headed to the park tonight, as we often do.  I was thinking the other day that there are many things I love about my house.  I love that it is at the very end of a cul-de-sac so L can play in the street without any worries.  I love that it is within a quarter mile of not one but two playgrounds.  They are very modest playgrounds, not too exciting for an older child, but they are definitely fun for a one-year-old.  One of them is at a park, and the other is at the elementary school.  We usually go to the elementary school one.  Sometimes we have it to ourselves, and other times there are neighborhood kids there.  It’s good either way.   L walked around a little on her own, but though she is clearly capable of it, she is still not really a fan of walking.  In fact, lately she is often a fan of being carried.  As B likes to say, she is her own person.  I like trying to swing from bar to bar on the monkey bars at the playground if there are not other adults around.  (I don’t care if there are kids.)  I figure it’s good for my upper body strength and L finds it amusing.  It is harder than I remember from childhood.

big fat government – Wow


Athens promised its creditors this week to dismiss 4,000 civil servants this year, including 2,000 by the end of the summer and 15,000 by the end of 2014.

That may not sound daunting in a public work force of around 650,000. Yet, through more than three years of drastic budget cuts and a rapidly shrinking economy, the debt-ridden country has yet to fire a single government employee.

To understand what the government is up against, consider the case of Georgia Tsiounis and more than 10,000 other “temporary” workers. Eight years after landing a four-month contract with the municipality of Athens to water flowers and trim trees while other workers were on vacation, she was told recently that her services would be eliminated after her latest contract ends.

Rather than meekly accepting her fate, she turned to the well-worn tactic of filing a restraining order seeking to make the job permanent.

While she may well lose in court, legal analysts say, she cannot be fired while the case is pending. Given the glacial pace of Greece’s overburdened and inefficient court system, her case and thousands more like it will not be heard for nearly two years.</blockquote>

I’m glad I don’t live in Greece.

first steps

L finally took her first knowing steps on the 6th.  A couple days later, she walked about 50 meters without assistance, a feat she’s repeated  a couple times since.  She was motivated the first time by the mini-bulldozer our neighbor had rented.  She wanted to take a look.  She’s been really into construction sites, buses, and emergency vehicles ever since our trip to NYC – all three were in abundance there.  She still flat out refuses to stand on her own (except when she’s just stopped walking), though I think it’s clear she’s capable of it at this point.

We went on our first canoeing trip as a family this weekend.  We kept it brief – just 35 minutes or so on the water, but it was very pleasant.  We saw a few great blue herons, geese, and some baby ducks.  L was very good and was almost lulled to sleep by the rocking of the boat.

Things are not always all smiles!  This is a typical reaction to not getting her way.  I try to be laid back about it.


L will be 16 months in two days, and she is still not walking on her own.  Most of the time, I do not worry about this, but every so often I read here or there about what milestones kids are supposed to achieve when, and I get alarmed.  Everywhere it’s something different.  Some places say they should stand by 14 months and walk by 15 months.  Others say they should walk by 18 months.  Still others say they should walk by 16 months.

The thing is, I don’t need L to be a superstar athlete or to be the first baby on the block to meet a milestone.  However, I can’t help but be alarmed when she is in danger of falling outside the “normal” range.  I can’t help but ask whether something is wrong.

L rolled over at one week old and continued to roll occasionally from then on.  She was never all that into it and never rolled as a means of transportation like some babies do.  She was able to sit up on her own right at six months.  This is average.  At 8 months, she was started crawling.  This is also right at average.  She was rather late to pull herself to a stand; I’m not sure what average for this is, but she didn’t start doing that until she was older than 10 months, which I think is rather old.  However, the walking is the first gross motor milestone that has just been very late.  I think 11 or 12 months is normal for walking, but I’m not sure.  Apparently 90% of babies walk by 15 months old.

I apparently did not walk until I was around 15 months old.  B walked at 13 months, but his brother apparently didn’t walk until 17 months.  His brother, however, had an eye problem which interfered with his ability to judge distance.

Not only is L not walking, she will also not stand unassisted.  We have, of course, been talking to her pediatrician, and we’re supposed to bring her in in a few weeks for a “developmental evaluation.”  *sigh*  All of my relatives and my husband tell me not to worry, but it seems to me to be very rational to worry when your child is not progressing “normally.”  It is very frustrating to be told repeatedly that my concern is completely unjustified.

L will walk these days holding our hand.  She does rely on the hand but not heavily.  This is a step from walking holding both our hands.  One night I simply refused to hold both her hands.  She threw a fit but eventually I won the battle of wills and she has been walking holding one hand ever since.  However, she flat out refuses to even consider attempting to stand or walk on her own.  In general, she’s more content than most babies to simply sit still and observe.

L is definitely not not walking due to lack of practice.  She probably walks a mile or more holding our hand on an average day.

horsey ride

I was just reflecting today how much easier it is to travel with a toddler than an infant. Everyone says infants are easier, but in my opinion, they are wrong, wrong, wrong. First of all, it is very difficult to do anything when your child must be fed every two hours. It is debatable whether this is harder or easier if you are BFing versus formula feeding, but in the former case, you can’t feed your child while your vehicle is in motion, which means you must stop every 1.5 hours or so. In addition, L never nursed as well away from the comforts of home, so she’d develop a bit of a food deficit which was worrisome since we always worried about her weight and also was bound to end in crankiness.

Now that L is a toddler, she enjoys crawling around to explore this and that and even has some small modicum of sense around not falling off things. She is a much, much better sleeper than she used to be (even if she still wakes us up before 7), and it’s so much easier to consider travel when you are not sleep-deprived. We’d originally talked about going to Iceland last year (closest destination to Seattle outside the US other than Japan and maybe Mexico) but the thought of 10 days without sleep in Iceland just did not seem enjoyable so we skipped it. Maybe we should have gone to Hawaii. We did go on three small trips – camping in Mt. Rainier, the San Juan Islands, and the beach in Oregon. Each was enjoyable but also challenging in its own way.

This picture really amuses me: